WASHINGTON (AP) — In a broadside against the International Criminal Court, President Donald Trump on Thursday authorised economic penalties and travel restrictions against court workers involved in investigating American troops and intelligence officials and those of allied nations, including Israel, for possible war crimes in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Trump’s executive order was his administration’s latest attack against international organisations, treaties and agreements that don’t hew to its policies.
The order would block the financial assets of court employees and bar them and their immediate relatives from entering the United States.
The Hague-based court was created in 2002 to prosecute war crimes and crimes of humanity and genocide in places where perpetrators might not otherwise face justice.
The court has 123 state parties that recognise its jurisdiction.
The US has never been an ICC member.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced the tribunal as a “kangaroo court” that has been unsuccessful and inefficient in its mandate to prosecute war crimes.
He said that the US would punish the ICC employees for any investigation or prosecution of Americans in Afghanistan and added that they could also be banned for prosecuting Israelis for alleged abuses against Palestinians.
“It gives us no joy to punish them,” Pompeo said.
“But we cannot allow ICC officials and their families to come to the United States to shop and travel and otherwise enjoy American freedoms as these same officials seek to prosecute the defender of those very freedoms.”